Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Book Review: Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino

Pages: 400
Released: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Disney
Received: Finished copy from publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

These books are wacky. I've now read three of these Disney Villain origin stories (Ursula, The Queen from Snow White) and I'm noticing a pretty consistent pattern. Basically:

Intriguing plot. I get hooked by these stories. I want to know what happens next. I wouldn't say they're well-plotted stories, since they're actually pretty ridiculous. But I can't help enjoying them.

So-so writing. The writing is pretty stilted. The dialogue is sometimes painful. I feel like I'm reading fan fiction.

Sympathetic villain. The origin stories turn the villains into saccharine sweet victims of horrible circumstances. It's a little much, but it's also pretty effective. I liked Gothel, I wanted her to win, and my heart broke for her every time her situation got worse and worse.

Side characters. There's usually at least one side character that's, if not fully developed, they're written in such a way that I care for them and enjoy reading about them.

Background story.  Serena Valentino has created three new characters that appear in each of these books. They're interesting, a little annoying, and I feel like I want to dislike them but can't help being intrigued by their side story. I want to trust them and like them, and I do, but then they go and do something that makes me question how good and trustworthy they actually are. I just want to know! We get glimpses into what they're up to and I just want to shake them and get them to tell me what's going on already (which is usually how the main villain character feels about them, too).

Bottom line?

I like these books. I roll my eyes and feel ridiculous and then I gobble them up. I'll keep reading this series.


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